» Dave Brockie - Gwar
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Interview conducted October 12 2010
Interview published November 03 2010

With this autumn's burnt offerings, a gathering of ghouls is imminent, and already the nuclear winter storm is coming. Still lust in space, and searching for Metal Metal Land, Antartica's turds, Gwar return to serenade the litany of the slain with their newest slab of sick and twisted Metal called - 'Bloody Pit Of Horror'.

Nigh a year has transpired since the war masters spawned the masterful 'Lust For Space'. Now these scumdogs of GWARnography are ready to travel beyond Hell to guarantee that violence has arrived and America must be destroyed! Thus, I spoke with Dave Murray Brockie (A.K.A. Oderus Urungus) all about his experience with this band of misfits, and his role in the exotic escapade.

MettleAngel: Hey Man it is good to finally meet you. You are touring the US non-stop. I guess America must be destroyed, again! You just completed the last leg for 'Lust In Space', and now your are not about to leave the road behind with your new album 'Bloody Pit Of Horror' due out November 9th.

  • Dave: Man I dig your wit! Honestly, we were very surprised that we had the new record finalized so soon.

MettleAngel: It has just been over a year, since your last one. Hell, Oh yeah, because I just bought the CD at Best Buy recently. I only had a digital promo before that. It was one of my favourite albums of 2009!

  • Dave: That is cool! Normally we would have dropped off touring in September or October, so we could get an album out next year. We just decided, "Fuck it", and as soon as we got back from the tour last year, we began laying down some tracks.

MettleAngel: 'Lust' is your most Metal release since 'Scumdogs Of The Universe'.

  • Dave: We have been aiming to return to our Metal roots for sometime. Originally, Cory Smoot (A.K.A. Flattus Maximus) had a whole new record that he had been writing for a side project that me and him were going to do.

MettleAngel: I was not aware of that...

  • Dave: Once he had written all the music, I agreed that I would listen to it and score all the lyrics. He played all the drums, and all the instruments. I gave it a solid listen in January as soon as we got done with the first leg of the 'Lust In Space' Tour.

MettleAngel: So you knew there was a new album in the works, but Gwar kept on touring nonetheless?

  • Dave: Touring is what we do! After just one listen, I knew that this would definitely be the new album! For me, this was the perfect thrash metal fusion that GWAR is best at, plus it was tuned down a step. It had a sick sound like the songs from the album 'Ragnarök'.

MettleAngel: That album was all over the place musically...

  • Dave: It just had a strong vibe like "The Sexecutioner" stuff. When he would sing that song, along with the newer material it really had a sick sound that I loved.

MettleAngel: I always dug the silliness of The Sexecutioner.

  • Dave: Yeah me too! In the past we have avoided doing it live, because, we have to switch out guitars, and that is hard for us to do.

MettleAngel: I can only imagine!

  • Dave: Plus it looks silly because these guitars are like washing boards. I mean it, the fucking guitars are like paddle necks. They look like beaver tails, like they are playing beavers.

MettleAngel: I am sure Gwar loves to play with beavers!

  • Dave: Yes we do! Thankfully, now they have cool digital equipment which allows you to tune it all down digitally, without having to switch guitars. This will help when we want to debut some of the new material live.

MettleAngel: Will you be playing "Zombies, March" live tonight?

  • Dave: Yeah, we will play that toward the end of our set. That track has been made available on the Internet for awhile now, and then we are going to be releasing more over the next couple of weeks.

MettleAngel: I am so excited to hear the new stuff!

  • Dave: Right now, we are rehearsing to do this mega-mash, which will incorporate the first four songs off the album all pushed together into one big super song. We usually have a story on the record, well this year the story is just the first four songs and the rest of the record is more random slaughtering effects.

MettleAngel: So it is pure Slaughterama! The album is named after the famous Italian Gore Horror flick from 1965 with the same name. Although, I understand this cult film has gone by several other titles like "The Scarlet Executioner" or "Some Virgins For The Hangman".

  • Dave: Well sort of, I guess, for the most part. Definitely, this inspired the title. This is kind of a mixture between the more linear songs or chapters in Gwar's stories and more random material like 'Violence Has Arrived'.

MettleAngel: That sounds killer...

  • Dave: It is like if you were to play Dungeon & Dragons on crack.

I cannot say that I have experienced that. I have played D&D though. This is something I did a lot in the '70s and early '80s.

  • Dave: For the record, we do not smoke crack, but you get the idea, and analogy.

MettleAngel: I do, indeed! Will "Zombies" be the only new song in the set?

  • Dave: We are only doing two tracks from the album tonight. We do not want to play six or seven until the album has been released, and our fans have had ample chance to digest it.

MettleAngel: I have been following the Scumdogs ever since I first saw you on MTV in '88. I have been a loyal fan of the band, but your last album really made me a die hard fan again!

  • Dave: That is good to hear!

MettleAngel: I loved the cover art, which is why I bought the hoodie with that parody of the 'Destroyer' album by Kiss. Some of the songs were just outstanding like"Let Us Slay" for which you did a video, as well as "Metal Metal Land" "The UberKlaw".

  • Dave: It took a long time writing that record, and now we are really putting ourselves up right to doing another record so quickly, but I dare people to say it sucks.

MettleAngel: I am sure it will not suck! As long as the songs are Metal and the packaging is cool.

  • Dave: The packaging is really wicked for the new one too. I think it is every bit as strong a record, both lyrically and musically. Ultimately listening to it will be a lot of fun. Just wait until you hear the track "The Litany Of The Slain" where we talk about all of those whom Gwar has killed in the last 25 years!

MettleAngel: Usually with every release the lyrics are quite hilarious. In the '90s you experimented with different style of music on albums like 'This Toilet Earth' which included hints of Ska, Jazz, and Funk. I prefer the straightforward Metal attitude.

  • Dave: So do I! Those early '90s albums were not my favorite.

MettleAngel: Oh really, but those were so successful. You made some greatand interesting videos back then!

  • Dave: Yeah, but I was kind of fed up through that whole period. There was a lot of conflict in the band. A lot of people had different ideas about the way the band wanted to sound.

MettleAngel: I am sure given the influx of Grunge, there was pressure from Metal Blade too. Around that time they were signing some total shit! I guess some things never change.

  • Dave: I hear you! The band is an art democracy. A lot of times we get into cantankerous and edgy discussions. We all vote on it and sometimes I will be against what the vote is about, but that is the price you pay for working with bunch of individual people.

MettleAngel: That makes sense.

  • Dave: Back then often things would happen with Gwar albums that I did not like. I always wanted Gwar to be a Metal band from the get go!

MettleAngel: That is good to know. I actually thought you stemmed from a Punk background. 'Hell-O' and 'Scumdogs Of The Universe' both had a strong Punk vibe like Plasmatics, G.B.H., The Dead Boys, The Dead Milkman, etc.

  • Dave: I wanted Gwar to have a punk sensibility, but with a total Metal sound, and a full-on Metal image.

MettleAngel: Well, there is no arguing that you created the Metal Monster genre. I guess you were also heavily influenced by some of the thrash and cross-over acts of the late '80s like Corrosion Of Conformity, Ludachrist, D.R.I., or Agnostic Front?

  • Dave: For us, it did not have to be overtly Metal. It did not have to be King Diamond either! We were aiming more towards Metal Blade era Slayer and Thrash, with one foot in the grave of Misfits or Dead Kennedys, even Black Flag, and yeah, D.R.I.

MettleAngel: Obviously Gwar did not sound like King Diamond, but I can get the mystique. So many of those great cross-over acts never received recognition, unless Metallica covered them. Man, Metallica stole from everyone. We were just listening to Bleakhouse in the car, and their song "Rainbow Warrior" was written in '81, but sounds a lot like "Sanitarium".

  • Dave: Yeah, yeah we stole from Slayer more than once, I must admit.

MettleAngel: Nowadays, who has not lifted from the Thrash greats! I always felt Gwar had a unique sensibility. You were signed to Metal Blade right when Slayer and Trouble moved to the majors.

  • Dave: I admit that we would listen to songs and kind of get inspiration from other artists. Like when we wrote "Salamanizer", that was our homage to NWA, with the big rap parts.

MettleAngel: What about "Black 'N' Huge"? Is that a porn thing?

  • Dave: I got a story for everything! "Black And Huge" was inspired when we were recording 'Hell-O'. We were at this flea market, walking through St. Marks in New York. There was this one guy who had this big blanket covered with porno magazines. One of them was actually called "Black And Huge"!

MettleAngel: Well there you have it!

  • Dave: Yeah, but this was before porn was easily accessible as it is today. On the cover, there was this guy with this huge fuckin' horse cock, rammin' it into this redneck white chick, and we thought it was hilarious!

MettleAngel: Most porn is either boring, hilarious, shocking, or so prurient, that it is difficult not to stand in judgment.

  • Dave: Back then, Jello Biafra was kind of our mentor.

MettleAngel: I can see how the leader of the Dead Kennedys would influence you.

  • Dave: We asked him if we should call the song "Black And Huge". We did not want people to think we were racists.

MettleAngel: I am surprised Gwar would care. Once you don the costumes, you become characters who are otherwordly, but from Antarcia.

  • Dave: We had not decided on the whole Gwar image, and he felt it was too racist.

MettleAngel: Is this why it was reserved for your sophomore outing? I am surprised he would worry about shocking the public. Dead Kennedys had al album called 'Frankenchrist'.

  • Dave: Exactly! Well we did it anyway, and Jello accepted it.

MettleAngel: Let me ask you this, the very first time I heard "Slaughterama", it almost sounded like you guys were covering The Meatmen. Was that also inspired by their song "Punkerama"? Tesco Vee, like Jello was quite outspoken. The Meatmen definitely had perverted sex style songs.

  • Dave: I agree, and we love Tesco and The Meatmen. With "Slaughterama", I did not write the song, so it is hard to recall.

MettleAngel: Really? I guess Gwar does have their Punk affiliations. The Casualties are on this tour.

  • Dave: I know, is not that awesome! "Slaughterama" is Don Drakulich's deal. When he was Sleazy P. Martini, he would sing it. I was familiar with "Punkerama", and I told him about the similarities.

MettleAngel: Both the songs from Gwar and The Meatmen are hysterical, even if the music is sort of the same. I begin to chant, "Brain full of shit, boots full of lead, straight from Hitler's ass it's a nazi skinhead!" Or, "All you guys win a date with Rob Halford of Judas Priest and go to the Club De'Sade, and all you gals win a date with everyone's lover bitch Joan Jett, and if you are lucky you may get a chance to lick her shaved and studded pickle parlour.".

  • Dave: Damn, nice! We could get away with being almost plagiarists at times because we may put a Gwar twist on it, and that has just made it so unique for us.

MettleAngel: The Meatmen were not wearing costumes, they were not wearing make-up. I know lately that there has been a lot of controversy about what band has copied which band. MushroomHead still think they set the precedent. In American there is the ongoing rivalry between you guys and Lordi, which kind of surprised me, given the difference of musical direction, and overall stage appearance.

  • Dave: I saw a little bit of that.

MettleAngel: I do not understand, because Lordi clearly is much more Kiss, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P. and '80s Metal oriented.

  • Dave: It was probably some teenager who loves us, and does not really understand much about Lordi. Personally, I like some of their albums.

MettleAngel: I am a huge Lordi fan, but 'Lust In Space' is better than the new Lordi, and I never thought I would say that! Your new album will probably be better too.

  • Dave: Well, the new Lordi album is just terrible. Why did they get Mark Slaughter to sing? They have a single out called "This Is Heavy Metal", and what it with the title 'Babez For Breakfast'?

Actually, I think it is their coolest cover yet, but the songs do not measure up. They also have a riff taken off of "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots. I wrote a less than favorable review at www.metalcdratings.com.

  • Dave: Gwar's loyal fans really dissed Lordi hard, and that is just not cool. Also, Lordi has not had much success in the States at all.

MettleAngel: It is an apples and oranges thing too. They do not have the type of lyrics common to Gwar. They also stem from an entirely alternate musical background more based in Classic Rock.

  • Dave: Few acts mirror us. Few have come close to what we have done. The Gorilla's are kind of like that, they really have the same thing, they stick to these fictional characters. Devo set a precedent too, they were really deep in it. Kiss has always had their real personas completely attached to their onstage ones.

MettleAngel: What about these other Monster Metal bands?

  • Dave: They are not creative enough. You really have to be sharp to think on the fly, while remaining in character, and then deal with people who ask questions for a living. People like Greg Gutfeld on "Red Eye" or anybody who has ever interviewed us.

MettleAngel: You have done fourteen appearances for that show?

  • Dave: Yeah, it is pretty funny, I am the official interplanetary correspondent.

MettleAngel: What about your giant phallus?

  • Dave: When I first arrived with this swinging, they fucking were horrified. They knew it would be under a table, but the for my second appearance, they gave me a black tarp to wear from the waste down to cover it up. Then they asked me not to bring it again, but at least you could still see my rubber feet sticking out.

MettleAngel: What do you feel the is the best era of Gwar, is it now or the '90s Metal Blade era?

  • Dave: This is a tough question to ponder. We know we have made our mistakes like with 'We Kill Everything'. We could have gone on to greater success. We had about a ten year hiccup where we played every fucking bizarre type of music we possibly could, and then ended up back where I wished we had been right after 'Scumdogs Of The Universe'.

MettleAngel: You live and learn.

  • Dave: I wish it would have gone from 'Scumdogs' right into 'Violence Has Arrived'. This being stated, having made the journey, I would not begrudge it at all, because I think it really gave Gwar legs and we really did work out every single fucking possible self- indulgent musical idea.

MettleAngel: That is very honest...

  • Dave: For us, nothing was too stupid, or too ridiculous. I am glad that we did all that stuff. I think it made us appreciate it more. The fans acknowledge just how much more cool it is when Gwar is focused on the Metal. It is like people were ready for us to start playing Heavy Metal again.

MettleAngel: Yes we were! I have told all my friends that you are back to being Metal!

  • Dave: It took a few albums to get to the point where people were really starting to pay attention to it again, and then 'Lust In Space' was the capper.

MettleAngel: Some of my old friends had long since given up on Gwar. They are all Lordi fans, so I encouraged them to check out 'Lust', now they are stoked for the new album!

  • Dave: That buzz helps us a lot, so thanks! I think Gwar is more powerful than it has ever been. We are now reaching more people all over the world again. We will be going to Australia and New Zealand for the first time here as part of this tour.

MettleAngel: I am sure they are excited to finally see you.

  • Dave: We are stoked to go! If not for this shitty economy, things would be really rocking. Even Gwar is feeling the bite as far as the live shows. People just are not coming out like they use to.

MettleAngel: That does suck! Do you think having Casey Orr back in the band has helped to bring you back to the Metal sound? I see you are selling Rigor Mortis shirts at the merch booth.

  • Dave: Oh, definitely, he is a huge Metal guy. He is an original member of Rigor Mortis, and he has worked with a lot of the biggest people in Metal.

MettleAngel: How did you get him back? Is it that he just wanted to return?

  • Dave: It was just perfect timing, he had to take care of some stuff, like family issues. Once all was reconciled, he was hankering to come back. Todd Evans was always kind of a hired gun.

MettleAngel: Oh, really?

  • Dave: He is a great guitar player; in fact, he is opening up for us tonight with his band Mobile Death Camp.

MettleAngel: I was not aware that this was his band?

  • Dave: He is such a purist about his guitar style, that he just really was not happy in Gwar, despite all the money, traveling, and fun.

MettleAngel: Why did he decide to play bass?

  • Dave: When he was playing bass, he really wanted to play guitar. So it was time for him to move on. Now, except for Mike Derks (A.K.A. BalSac, the Jaws Of Death) , I am the biggest guy on stage. It was frustrating having Todd in the band, because he is fucking eight feet tall!

MettleAngel: I did not know he was so huge. I am not too familiar with Mobile Death Camp.

  • Dave: They are just a little three piece Thrash Metal band. They are pretty fucking cool, and I dig them.

MettleAngel: So, obviously you are still friends. Do you find that more and more of us old fans are coming back to the Gwar scene?

  • Dave: Yeah sure, it is a good mix though. People are very accepting of our new stuff as well. They do miss Techno-Destructo, The Sexecutioner, and Slymenstra Hymen.

MettleAngel: We definitely miss Slymenstra, she was cutting edge. One thing about Gwar, you had the best VHS releases. I was always buying those.

  • Dave: We were always cranking those things out. We had to cut back on a lot of things for Gwar to survive. Just like the wolf pack, in some cases we would consume our own members, so we could eat. We will bring them back every now and then, as circumstances permit and budgets allow. We also want to reissue our older videos.

MettleAngel: You mean perhaps a killer collection on Blue-Ray? I know you just released 'Lust In Space - Live At The National' on DVD.

  • Dave: We are not ready for Blue-Ray, yet. We use to roll with two tour buses with 18 people plus crew. That was when we were making a name for ourselves.

MettleAngel: That does seem a bit excessive, given today's technology.

  • Dave: In order to keep this thing going we will not turn the production down. We are just smarter about how to run things. We have to be a little more clever about what to build and how to present it.

MettleAngel: That makes good sense. What about the X-Cops band? Is it really members of Gwar?

  • Dave: Oh yes that is very true! We had this funny idea for this all cops band to open for Gwar back then.

MettleAngel: That album 'You Have The Right To Remain Silent...' is becoming increasingly difficult to find on CD. I still have my cassette though.

  • Dave: I know. Back then, we tried to keep a lid on it, and just figured everyone would eventually figure it out. Nobody did! We got some money from the Metal Blade label and spent it on a tour bus. We went on tour by ourselves and proceeded to have like five people a night, and it was plain embarrassing.

MettleAngel: That may because in 1995, with no Internet, nobody knew that X-Cops was actually Gwar. I remember going to see Green Jellö and a friend of mine telling me to check out X-Cops. I never did see you live, but I did buy the tape.

  • Dave: Unfortunately, it did not really catch on. People never put two and two together. About ten years later people started asking a bunch of questions like, "What is with this X-Cops thing?" We have talked about doing it again at some point. It would be a lot of fun.to do another X-Cops album too.

MettleAngel: I am sure there would be a wider audience now. Maybe you can persuade Metal Blade to reissue it like they did with your album 'America Must Be Destroyed'.

  • Dave: It is a good record. One of the reasons we have not put out another one, is because it would be really hard to out do that record. We all think that it is a really really strong fucking album. I do not think we could do that again, even today.

MettleAngel: All the more reason to remaster it with bonus tracks! Do you think that this too is more of a Punk oriented album like early Gwar?

  • Dave: Yeah, but it had a little bit more to it. At the time when Gwar was playing so much comedy, we wanted to write something different. This is one of the reasons why X-Cops even started.

MettleAngel: So you were looking for an outlet, a sort of solo effort?

  • Dave: We wanted to make more Hard Core sounding Thrash music.This is when bands like HateBreed were just getting started. We strove to make heavier music that was not so funny.

MettleAngel: So X-Cops had a real Hard Core edge. I do not like most of the newer Hard Core bands, but I guess I do detect a bit of Sick Of It All and Warzone on that album.

  • Dave: Biohazard were making a name for themselves, and Machine Head was doing something different. Then the flip flop thing happened with The Dave Brockie Experience.

MettleAngel: The rest is history, right! Thank you for taking the time to take a trip down memory lane.

  • Dave: Man, it has been cool to chat with someone who knows the band, but is also not an idiot in the press.

MettleAngel: Thank you, I think. I am excited to hear those new songs live tonight.

  • Dave: We will give it our all. I injured my foot bad last night, so I will not be jumping around as much.

MettleAngel: We will have our seven year old son with us, so we will all be there in the pit waiting to get soaked in fake blood.

  • Dave: I will keep an eye out for you!

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